Satie: Trois gymnopédies; Cinq gnossiennes; Je te veux; Avant-dernières pensées

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Satie
LABELS: Alba
WORKS: Trois gymnopédies; Cinq gnossiennes; Je te veux; Avant-dernières pensées
PERFORMER: Janne Mertanen (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: ABCD 115
Another month, another two Satie discs. However, things are not what they seem. Entitled ‘Satierik’ (very droll), Janne Mertanen’s recital presents the usual fare in the usual, thoughtfully unimaginative way. Admittedly, ‘Je te veux’ is given a curious, slightly uncomfortable, Viennese slant, but the three Gymnopédies drift by with the occasional benign mannerism and the first five Gnossiennes (what has Mertanen got against No. 6?) are, as ever, hypnotically profound. Mertanen does not disappoint, but if you already have a recording of this repertoire, save your pennies.

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Teodoro Anzellotti’s recital is an entirely different prospect. The stylish cover, with its pastiche of early editions of Satie’s music, contains a built-in booklet notable for its excellent artwork. Anzellotti’s choice of repertoire is also superior, with some less familiar works, and daring to play just one Gymnopédie. Oh, and all the pieces are played on accordion. If this is initially more than a little unsettling as the ‘Choral inappétisant’ of Sports et divertissements growls out of the speakers, the charming colouristic possibilities soon become apparent. The Gnossiennes are a trifle slow, and melody lines sometimes struggle to hold their own, but this is a disc to which I have returned surprisingly often. Christopher Dingle